Re: Contractors _ARE_ good people

Subject: Re: Contractors _ARE_ good people
From: "Wing, Michael J" <mjwing -at- INGR -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 11:13:25 -0500

>>The best of all
>>worlds, of course, is highly-trained, experienced and knowledgable internal
>>people who can blaze through projects and cost the company a minimal sum.
>>But sadly, those characteristics don't occur together, so companies have to
>>choose between them.

>I find it interesting that, thus far in this limited discussion, the
>seems to be that internal people are less productive than contractors.

The view by whom? Does an internal writer afraid of being replaced by a
contractor have the view point that contractors cannot possibly handle
the job? Does a contractor trying to sell themselves have the view
point that they are more efficient than the internal writer?

I've been both an internal writer and a contractor. Regardless of my
status, I find that the efficiency and expertise (or lack thereof) was
dependent on the match between my experience/abilities and the task at
hand. My status as a contractor or internal writer did nothing to
change my skills. It just changed the pay rate, medical coverage, time
spent working at the company, and other non-tech writing parameters.

The statement you are referencing is a left-handed compliment (sorry
southpaws) of internal writers. It states the ideal characteristics of
an internal writer, and then states that these writers don't exist.
Applying the law of transitivity to this statement results in internal
writer = 'stinkeroo'.

Whether the writer is internal or contractor is a non-factor; it's the
writer themselves that sets all the variables. The law of transitivity
applied to this statement results in:

Contractor/Internal Status = 1 if contractor; 1 if internal
(Contractor/Internal Status)*Writer's experience/aptitude/skills = level
of expertise and efficiency

However, consider if the person stating this is a contractor. Their
motive for making such sweeping, and IMHO, non-correlative
generalizations could be:

A) An attempt to sell you (or who ever else is reading) on their

B) Promoting the status of contractors in general

C) Sell you a piece of software (for which, coincidentally, they happen
to be the manufacturer or vender) that will magically cure your
documentation woes.

In other words, examine what you hear and beware of wolves in sheep's
clothing. Or in some cases, Salesmen in Tech Writer's clothing.

>Being somewhat new to the business myself, I wonder if you good people
>could tell me: is this the common view?

It's a common view for a contractor ;^)

>Personally, I don't feel too weighed down with "red tape" and such, but
>work for a small company with a fast pace.

>Steve Shewchuk
>Technical Writer

Mike Wing

_/ Michael Wing
_/ Principal Technical Writer
_/ Infrastructure Technical Information Development
_/ Intergraph Corporation
_/ Huntsville, Alabama
_/ (205) 730-7250
_/ mjwing -at- ingr -dot- com

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